DISCOVER THE CREATIVE MIND BEHIND WHIMSICAL ILLUMINATION
beSocial Charlotte welcomes The Residency’s Artist of the Month, Scott Whiteside, for his first solo exhibition “Whimsical Illumination” curated by King Carla.
Carla states that Scott was a surprise for her, she thought Scott was just a manager of an art store. After seeing his style of illustration, she knew that she wanted to provide an opportunity to showcase his works to the public and move them into seeing him as the artist he has always been through The Residency. With a background in film criticism, his time spent in the Walt Disney animation vault going through archives and working on films such as The Princess and the Frog, Scott’s influences allow the audience to be rewarded the longer they view his works.
From pin-up culture to tattoo culture, everything “punk” about America can be found within his illustrations. Scott, a Charlotte native who loves cartoons, has created a world for the audience to dive into that is informed by art history and local culture.
After years of living among the animation archives in the Burbank Studios, Scott Whiteside has returned to his hometown to put his unique fingerprint on the complex art world of appropriation. He has found his own creative voice through his love and appreciation of the rich history of animation.
Learn more about Scott Whiteside and his journey getting to his first solo exhibition at The Residency.
Carla: Scott, congratulations on your solo exhibition. How do you feel?
Scott: I am excited about my first solo exhibition in many years, and eternally grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given.
Who is Scott? Tell us about yourself. Walk us through your journey to becoming an artist.
I grew up on Lake Norman, attended North West School of the Arts, and continued painting at UNC-Wilmington. My style was greatly influenced by my time in New York and LA. When I moved home in 2011, I had a vision for my own contribution to the new contemporary art world. I got involved in the art scene of Plaza Midwood and NoDa, where I was met with open arms. I’m getting married this month and am super excited to continue my life and art in Uptown Charlotte.
How would you describe your practice? What is your process?
I typically listen to true crime podcasts and play cartoons silently in the background. I am a neurodivergent. I like a lot of stimulation in order to stay focused on the work at hand. My application process continues to gain depth almost subconsciously. The time and dedication put into each piece is not only an extension of myself smiling during a painting, I have come one step closer to nirvana.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I look forward to raising a family in my hometown. I hope to pursue art in my career for as long as I am able. I count myself lucky to be a part of Charlotte’s art community. It is a group who inspire my creativity and enrich my life.
Describe your favorite art experience.
Murakami at the MOCA, 2007. His ability to create a reciprocal relationship between high art and mass culture was like lightning striking my brain. The show made me see the world as full of value instead of mere consumption.
What are other practices and/or experiences you’d like to see/do?
I have studied the masters in Europe, but rarely have I seen much of the eastern arts, outside of the US. I’d like to experience more of the culture that surrounds my current influences.
Name an album you can listen to with no skips while you work.
Fred again..’s Boiler Room set from 2022.
What other artists should we know about in your city?
Rojo Galeria, Amy Sol, Dean Yeagle, Jeremy Fish, Koak, Audrey Kawasaki, Ruttu Oviedo, Alex Yanes, Tsuaii, Tex Avery, Eyvind Earle, Ernst Haeckel, Chuck Jones, Bill Morrison, Courtney Godbey, Bennett Slater, and Sean Mahan.
Whimsical Illumination is a solo exhibition dedicated to an evocative journey that plays with shadows and light in a distinctive and captivating style. Each piece is a nostalgic whisper, a wistful glimpse into a fantasy world of characters. Visitors find themselves enveloped in dramatic illuminations of playful yet intricate subjects and scenes.
Scott and Carla invite you to lose yourself in the contemplative silence of his creation, where every stroke tells a story, and every shadow holds a dream at his beSocial Charlotte on 11.17 at 6PM.